It might be three decades since their ‘heyday’ but Orbital are still producing absolutely compelling musical creations that impress and invigorate.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that those assembled for another Dolan’s Live at the Big Top event never thought they’d witness this seminal electronic act playing in Limerick’s Milk Market, but here we are with one of the world’s most venerated dance acts kicking off their ‘Optical Delusion’ tour in this most unique of surroundings.
There is certainly a palpable feel-good vibe to the night’s proceedings from the off with Bristol-based DJ and producer Manami providing the perfect appetiser to the main event, a selection of chilled out sounds build to an enlivening climax.
With an explosive array of stunning visuals Orbital announce their arrival to wholesale rapture which only intensifies as they launch into the delightfully manic Smiley. This tour is showcasing their first studio album in five years therefore, as to be expected there is no shortage of tracks being debuted on the night, first of which is the beguilingly ethereal Ringa Ringa (The Old Pandemic Folk Song), with its almost unnerving repetition of the key line from the well-known nursery rhyme, its effect is almost hypnotic.
A double salvo of Dirty Rat and the always staggering Satan is an aggressive tour-de-force. The former (another live debut) sees Jason Williamson from Sleaford Mods colourfully gurning from the hi-def screen with a diatribe doused in vitriol that stirs the soul. Halycon-Spicy with its Spice Girls sample is delightfully playful, whilst new track You Are The Frequency sends everyone into a ravetastic frenzy.
Belfast, Chime and Impact (The Earth Is Burning) are blissfully rendered, there’s even a heavenly disembodied Sinead O’Connor vocal, with Molly Malone hauntingly atmospheric as the set pulsates magnificently.
A glorious encore of Out There Somewhere? and Lush provides the perfect conclusion to the evening’s entertainment, with the venerated duo appearing to be genuinely moved by their ecstatic reception. If the countless delighted faces and beaming smiles amongst the audience is anything to go by, then the return of Orbital to the live arena is very much a definitive triumph.